W.O.L.F.’s Rescue Coordinator received an urgent plea for help from a young man who had recently purchased a higher content wolf dog puppy. The puppy was only ten weeks old, and his owner did not feel equipped to handle him. The young man purchased the pup for $2,500 from a breeder in Kansas. He made the twenty-two hour roundtrip journey to pick up the pup and bring him to his forever home.
It was not to be, however. The young man was not prepared for the antics of a high-content wolf dog. The pup was very mouthy and nippy (as is normal with baby wolf dogs,) was possessive of food and toys, and was not housetrained. The pup often spent an hour or more outside without going to the bathroom only to urinate as soon as he was allowed back into the house. He was also very fearful of other large dogs, and he reacted with growling, snarling, and a show of teeth whenever he met a new animal.
The young man realized he was in over his head in only a few days. He immediately began looking for an appropriate place to rehome the pup. He tried to place the pup with his friends, but they also were not prepared for or experienced with wolf dogs and were not able to provide a safe home. The young man even tried to get his pup placed at a local zoo but was unsuccessful. He then recalled that, as a teenager, he lived near W.O.L.F. Sanctuary in Colorado. He immediately made the call to W.O.L.F. and asked for help.
With the recent losses of both Skye and Ahote, W.OL.F. had space to rescue another animal, and the Director of Animal Care and the Executive Director decided to help the young man and his pup. On May 29, 2020, the young man brought the little wolf to W.O.L.F.’s Director of Animal Care, who was going to foster the pup until he was examined by W.O.L.F.’s veterinarian and was old enough to be moved to the Sanctuary.
The little pup was adorable. He was black with puffs of white in his coat and was all legs and feet. His birthday was March 17, 2020, and a W.O.L.F. supporter suggested the Irish name Kieran, which means little dark one. It was a perfect fit for the little wolf dog pup. Kieran quickly settled into his foster home and enjoyed the companionship of his foster family. He was happy to snuggle with his humans and to PLAY. However, he was very frightened of other dogs, and whenever he saw a dog or heard barking, he would run away and hide. If there was nowhere to run, Kieran growled and became alert and ready to respond with a tough guy attitude.
W.O.L.F.’s Director of Animal Care quickly realized Kieran needed some training and counterconditioning to be happy and successful living among the wolves and wolf dogs at the Sanctuary. With the help of some older, calm dogs, Kieran slowly became more comfortable being around other canines and no longer reacted as fearfully when he saw another dog or heard barking. Staff also worked on building his confidence outside of his home and began taking him on short excursions up to the Sanctuary.
After about a month, it was time for Kieran to move up to the Sanctuary full-time. He adjusted very well, and staff soon started introducing him to Yuki. The two started meeting out on walks and were gradually allowed to play under close supervision. Before long, it became clear that the two were getting along famously, and when Kieran was old enough and Yuki was healthy enough, the two became full-time companions. They continue to live together, and while the combined energy of the two is a lot to handle, they are enjoying life with one another.